The Restorative Effects of Pleasant Urban Areas in the Netherlands: the Role of Sound Quality

Invited paper

Elise Van Kempen


Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 10:00 - 10:20

0.4 Brussels (189)

The association between noise and health has seldom been placed in a broader context of acoustical and environmental quality. The focus of the few studies into this topic has primarily been on the health benefits of natural recreational areas outside the urban environment. Hardly any research has been carried out into the characteristics of urban areas with good sound quality and its assumed positive impact on health and well-being. This paper investigates the restorative effects of pleasant urban areas by analysing its relation with perceived and modelled sound quality. Also associations with other determinants such as, physical features other than sound (e.g. amount of green, availability of pleasant colours and odours), use of the area and personal factors (e.g. health status) were investigated. To this end, data from a questionnaire survey, held among 3,972 people living in 31 neighbourhoods in three Dutch cities, supplemented with neighbourhood characteristics from systematic audits and several databases, will be used. The findings may increase the knowledge of health-enhancing environments.

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